News Headlines for Independent Voters 8/27/09

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Independent Voters
Independents are playing a key role in the debate on health care. Centrist commentator John Avlon says indies are social liberals/fiscal conservatives; James A. Morone, seeming to speak for the Demo-(We-Are-Not-Socialists)-Crats says indies are moderate, fence-sitting, frightened and don’t vote in midterm elections… Independent strategist and public philosopher Fred Newman, PhD says “the most right wing voices are saying in their appeal to a base: We don’t want to have any or more or all of our money spent on poor people. It’s not more complicated than that.” What do you think??

  • Commentary: Obama losing independent voters (By John Avlon, Special to CNN) All this is evidence that Obama’s election did not represent a liberal ideological mandate, as House Democrats and their partisan cheerleaders might wish. More than 70 percent of independents now disapprove of Congress.
  • Why the Health Care Debate Is So Explosive (James A. Morone, Washington Post/Short Stack) Many Democrats are moving to whittle back health reform in order to win over moderate, fence-sitting, frightened independents. Big mistake…
  • The Ant and the Grasshopper Revisited (Fred Newman and Jackie Salit, independentvoting.org) I’ve always felt that the long term debate over health care is the societal form of the “socialism or capitalism” debate. That’s what it’s meant. That’s writ large in the current circumstance and Obama is bearing the brunt of that debate right now, while trying to lead the way forward, without using the language of socialism, and almost certainly overworking the language of capitalism. That’s what the raw emotions are about. The right wing is aghast, not by how much money we’re spending. I think that’s ludicrous. Nobody worries about how much money we’re spending, as long as it’s not their money.
  • Polling shows uncertainties about ‘public option’ insurance in health reform (Portland Business Journal – by Neil Westergaard) Couple that with diminishing support for Obama from independent voters who were key to his election last year, and Cook said, “I don’t know that there’s an ending that the president is going to like.”
  • Reasoned arguments win more debates (Tim Hadachek, Kansas State Collegian) Actually, there’s a reason Obama has made only the feeblest of efforts to debunk these crazy claims. Independent voters are the kingmakers of American politics. Roughly the same number of Democrats and Republicans will vote and cancel each other out. But the candidate that can capture the most people in the middle of the political spectrum usually wins.

Open Primaries
Open primaries is probably the most democratic reform that could be implemented right now, one that would allow 40% of the electorate to have a voice

  • Change the two-party political system? Yes we can! (By Chris Ward, Arizona Daily Wildcat/University of Arizona) I’m a registered Independent, as are another unfortunate 898,000 voters in Arizona; we are unfortunate because in Arizona, as in 17 other states, independent voters cannot vote in primary elections or caucuses. Verily, nearly 40 percent of Americans identify themselves as Independents, and that number is even greater among college students, a demographic that could carry a candidate to victory.
  • Another take on legislators moving into state jobs (Posted by Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian) ” I also am not on a partisan crusade; in fact, I’m a registered Democrat, and would be an Independent if Oregon ever created an open primary….”
  • GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado: CA Reps are “suicidal” to bar indy primary voters (Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle/Politics blog)
  • Our Views: Leave state’s top-two primary system alone (The Olympian – WA)

For more news for independents, see The Hankster